Microsoft Catches 25 UK Companies For Selling Fake Software

Software Company Microsoft has nabbed 25 UK-based companies that admitted they sold counterfeit software of Windows operating system through fresh computers since 2010 beginning.

A Microsoft spokesperson (UK) states that with the help of information from some wary customers, researchers discovered 21 enterprises that were shipping computers pre-installed with fake Windows program, as reported by ZDNet published on July 6, 2010. During the crackdown, 4 sellers were also found who traded through eBay.

While the customers thought the pre-installed Office and Windows software bought by them were genuine, they came to know that the programs were pirated versions downloaded from the Net, and locally-developed illegitimate replicas of authentic Microsoft software.

The worrying issue about the counterfeit applications is that they normally contain malware, which cause problems. Businesses and consumers, who are deceived into buying computer fake programs, can also be targeted with hidden spyware capable of turning them into victims of ID-theft.

As the software isn't authentic, sellers can't repair or replace the defective products.

Michala Wardell, Head of Anti-piracy at Microsoft, UK, stated that when the recession was subsiding in the UK and resellers aimed at enlarging their businesses, trading illegal products not just hampered growth, but caused local diligent PC traders too to close shop, as reported by ZDNet on July 6, 2010.

FAST IiS, a watchdog for software piracy, states that organizations' directors who consciously utilize pirated software not just run into the danger of probable imprisonment and hefty fines, but make their enterprises vulnerable to reputation loss as well, as reported by ComputerWeekly on July 12, 2010.

The illegal activities also affect lawful traders as software piracy evades faith in the smaller computer traders.

The offenders whom Microsoft has caught are - BNI Computers, Computer Services Repair, and Discovery Computers all in Birmingham, TC Links in Liverpool, Morley Computers in Leeds, Surf-IT Computers in Hampshire, etc.

The companies caught by the software giant admitted their fault and in co-operation with it, rectified the mistake. They even paid Microsoft for arriving at a settlement.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

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